Volvo reveals ‘Costello’ prototype for radical fresh S90 saloon
Source : Volvo reveals ‘Costello’ prototype for radical fresh S90 saloon
Volvo shows the prototype in which convinced the board to go ahead with the fresh S90 saloon
Volvo has revealed its secret ‘Costello’ prototype which was used to convince the company board to invest within the fresh SPA architecture. Volvo also says ‘Costello’ gives big clues as to how the fresh S90 will drive, as the Swedish company prepares to break into the global market for premium saloons.
The fresh S90, which is actually currently within the final stages of testing as well as validation as well as is actually required to be unveiled within the next few months, is actually a much bigger challenge for Volvo than the reinvention of the XC90. This particular has to break into a global market in which is actually dominated by the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, BMW 5 Series as well as Audi A6.
Autocar can also reveal in which the design of the fresh S90 is actually stand-out striking, effectively using the front as well as rear end treatment previewed on Volvo’s 2013 Coupe Concept. Indeed the rear light treatment – using a thin light cluster in which runs around your vehicle’s tail – is actually probably even more striking within the production edition.
Volvo says in which the Costello shows the potential for future road cars based on the SPA platform, promising a much higher level of performance than previous products, which were either based on the company’s own P2 architecture or Ford’s EUCD platform.
This particular engineering prototype – which was originally built in 2008 – is actually based around the Ford-derived structure of the current S80. However, This particular was fitted that has a fresh design of ‘integral link’ independent rear suspension as well as Volvo’s own double wishbone front suspension. Power came via a tuned edition of the company’s iconic turbocharged several-cylinder engine.
Roger Wallgren, a principle engineer in Volvo’s Vehicle Dynamics team, told Autocar in which the performance of Costello at the company’s Hällered Proving Grounds was impressive enough to convince company bosses in which investing in an all-fresh architecture for your vehicle maker’s post-Ford future was essential.
With the S90 close to the showroom, the related V90 estate car is actually required to be revealed later in 2016. Autocar also understands in which the all-fresh SPA-based XC60 replacement is actually around 20 months via the showroom.
Driving the Costello
Driving Costello on one of the short circuits at Hällered back to back that has a late-product edition of the previous XC90 (which was based on Volvo’s own P2 platform) quickly demonstrates just how much of a huge leap forward was made with This particular engineering prototype.
Where the XC90 – while admittedly a much taller vehicle – is actually hopelessly vague, slow to steer as well as change direction, the Costello is actually sharp as well as dynamic. Wallgren points out in which, in bends, the XC90 suffers via the typical problems of large cars with MacPherson strut front suspension: a tendency for the nose to roll as well as ‘rotate’ into the bend.
The Costello’s chassis tuning is actually intriguing: This particular manages to be both surprisingly comfortable as well as compliant on undulating surfaces, while delivering an agile turn-in response as well as flat cornering abilities.
Clearly the double wishbone front end as well as integral link rear do a very fine job of keeping the Costello’s Centeng flat as well as, to a large degree, isolated via the twists as well as turns of the test track.
Unfortunately, while the tuning of the Costello is actually ‘very close’ to the production S90, the latter will not hold the same sharpness of steering, although Wallgren confirms what Audi has already said about today’s premium market customer: in which they are more interested in comfort as well as controllability than sharp-edged reactions. Volvo sums up This particular fresh ride as well as handling philosophy as ‘relaxed confidence’.
Volvo’s super simulator
Volvo has installed one of the planet’s most advanced driving simulators at its Gothenburg HQ which This particular is actually using for the chassis development as well as set-up of future products.
Developed in Italy, the Swedes say in which the Vi-Grade machine is actually currently only being used by Ferrari as well as Porsche within the motor industry.
This particular uses a fully articulated platform-mounted cockpit sitting in front of a wrap-around screen to closely simulate real-world test track driving, including circuits of the famous Nürburgring as well as Volvo’s own test circuits.
Volvo says the Vi-Grade is actually used ‘to support early chassis development work on high-speed stability, balance as well as individual drive mode settings’.
‘The use of simulation means in which settings can be rapidly tested combining the experiential judgment of a real driver as well as computer-aided objective data analysis’
As well as shortening development times, vehicle dynamics manager Stefan Karlsson says ‘the beauty of the fresh simulator is actually in which This particular provides us with the opportunity to physically experience the calculation products as well as evaluate them using human test drivers, rather than staring at graphs as well as numbers in a meeting room.’
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